f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 23, 2005

thankful for cozy nights

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:40 pm

On a blustery night, with snow in the air, we’re thankful for 

central heating, storm windows, and Open Window — haiku

and photographs by Michael Dylan Welch. 





[click here for full-color





grey sky—

the dog’s water dish

iced over




[click here for full-sized





tarnished silver

the only guest

eats in silence







[click here for full-color





my hand curves

       to fit your breast …

the windowsill, snowladen





first snow . . .

the children’s hangers

clatter in the closet





[click here for full-sized photo-poem] 


from Open Window – haiku & photographs





from dagosan 


first snow —

an entire city

learning to drive






Thanksgiving snow storm –

a seatbelt protects each 

steaming pie



[Nov. 23, 2005]


                                                                                                                              pilgrim hat


self-pity: the opposite of thanksgiving

Filed under: pre-06-2006,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 4:59 pm

Last night, November 22, Ted Koppel did his last Nightline show. Thanks to an interview the night before with his time-slot rival Charlie Rose (who I usually watch), I knew to tune into Ted’s last Nightline, and I’m glad I did.

KoppelTed Ted decided to bow out by reprising highlights from his acclaimed interviews with Morrie Schwartz, the wise retired professor who wanted to talk about dying (he had ALS), and who became the subject of Mitch Albom‘s mega-hit book, Tuesdays with Morrie. Despite their popularity, the Albom book and the Nightline interviews contain much wisdom about dying and living with dignity, grace, humor and hope. In a nation where we find rampant discontent, among people enjoying a myriad of blessings, Morrie Schwartz’s refusal to wallow in self-pity as he lost control of his body and neared death, is not merely a good example — it is a recipe for much fuller and happier lives.

At pages 56 – 57 of Tuesdays, Albom explains: TuesdaysMorrieCover

I asked Morrie if he felt sorry for himself.

“Sometimes, in the mornings,” he said. “That’s when I mourn.I feel around my body, I move my fingers and my hands — whatever I can still move — and I mourn what I’ve lost. I mourn the slow, insidious way in which I’m dying. But then I stop mourning.”

Just like that?

“I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life. On the people who are coming to see me. On the stories I’m going to hear. On you — if it’s Tuesday. Because we’re Tuesday people”

I grinned. Tuesday people.

MorrieDVD the movie

“Mitch, I don’t allow myself any more self-pity than that. A little each morning, and few tears, and that’s all. “

I thought about all the people I knew who spent many of theirwaking hours feeling sorry for themselves. How useful it would be to put a daily limit on self-pity. Just a few tearful minutes, then on with the day. And if Morrie could do it, with such a horrible disease . . .

“It’s only horrible if you see it that way,” Morrie said. “It’s horrible to watch my body slowly wilt away to nothing. But it is also wonderful because of all the time I get to say good-bye.”

He smiled. “Not everyone is so lucky.”

I studied him in his chair, unable to stand, to wash, to pull on his pants. Lucky? Did he really say lucky?

In most aspects of life, attitude is everything. You don’t see things as they are; you see them as you are — and, each of us can choose to be thankful. I hope we will all make that choice this Thanksgiving.

p.s. In case you want a little Koppel vinegar to go with Morrie’s sweetness, I would like to second Ted Koppel’s final words in his final Nightline broadcast: ”You’ve always been very nice to me,” he told viewers last night, ”so give this new anchor team at ‘Nightline’ a fair break. If you don’t, the network will just put another comedy in this time slot, and then you’ll be sorry.

it’s my life’s autumn MoonWaneCres
but the moon
looks perfect

this world
is a dewdrop world
yes… but…


quite remarkable
being born human…
autumn dusk

even to these old eyes–
cherry blossoms!
cherry blossoms!

Kobayashi Issa translated by David G. Lanoue MoonWaxCres

” pit bull ” as compliment

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:36 am

Reacting to a post at MyShingle on the “pit bull” case of Florida Bar v.

Pape & Chandler, Mary Whisner at Trial Ad Notes asks a very good

question: “Is it good to be considered a pit bull in the courtroom?”

(Nov. 21, 2005) .  Whisner points out that during the 2004 presidential

campaign Ed Gillespie was called “President Bush’s pit bull,” and notes:

“It doesn’t seem that he minds this — or that Republicans as

a whole feel demeaned because the chairman of the Republican

Party has that nickname. It’s ironic, because during the heat of

the presidential campaign, it seemed that “trial lawyer” was used

as an insult, but “pit bull” was a term of respect.

dog black Of course, there is an even more recent example of a lawyer called

a pit bull — Harriet Miers.  According to the Washington Post last June:  

“When he was governor of Texas, Bush offered a less formal

assessment at an awards ceremony, calling Miers ‘a pit bull

in size 6 shoes.’ The line stuck, in no small part because it

described her cool but dogged determination.”


You may recall that there were a lot of reasons given for Miers’   MiersBush

unsuitability to become an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme

Court, but her pit-bull-like qualities were not one of them. Indeed,

I seem to remember some who complained she was simply not

enough of a pit bull for their taste.


Do you have any examples of “pit bull” being used as a compliment?



OstrichSand  p.s. Don’t forget to help us choose a symbol for the Florida

Supreme Court.



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